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K-State Today

October 27, 2011

Equine health work earns professor place among state's top scientists

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

When it comes to being "healthy as a horse," one need only think about the work of Elizabeth Davis.

An associate professor of clinical sciences and section head of equine medicine and surgery at Kansas State University, Davis researches equine health and ways to improve it. Recently the Ad Astra Kansas Initiative named her as one of the top 150 scientists to operate in Kansas within the past 150 years.

Despite that saying about a horse's health, the animal is actually prone to viruses and illness. Davis hopes to curb that by investigating the immunologic, neurologic, respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases that affect the horses.

In her studies Davis has investigated antimicrobial proteins as well as mechanisms that allow immunizations to protect horses from infection. These findings are expected to improve the overall understanding of warding off infectious disease as well as enhance vaccine protocols combating these diseases.

Currently she's researching how vaccines affect horses on a cellular level.

Throughout the year Ad Astra is spotlighting Kansas researchers, inventors and engineers from the past to the present who have advanced their field. Davis is the 13th active faculty member at K-State to be named a top scientist in the project, "Science in Kansas: 150 Years and Counting," which celebrates the state's sesquicentennial. It is meant to emphasize the importance of science and the career possibilities in research and innovation to K-12 students. She joins other historically noted Kansas researchers on the list like George Washington Carver, Charles H. Sternberg, Clyde Cessna and Clyde Tombaugh.